Thinking of packing your family up and moving interstate?
Joni and Alex have recently started their new life in Queensland, with a newborn baby and a 2 year old! As a dynamic duo, Joni is a lawyer her husband (Alex) is a builder, she was always thinking about ways they could combine their skills to create a business and more financial freedom. Joni has been interested in property from a young age, so this interest combined with Alex’s hands-on skills made sense.
After turning a sweet cottage into an epic family home, they knew this is what they wanted to do full time, and one of our favourite auction images came from the moment that the Jellis Craig auctioneer pronounced ‘Sold’! But selling their Melbourne home, led to committing to buy a property in Queensland in a hot market, when they still lived and worked in Melbourne!
The winning photo – Joni’s expression when her house sold is priceless!
It is always so easy to look at other people’s scenarios from the outside without actually thinking about what that would have meant for them, what the pain points were and the points where they needed to trust that they could figure it out and make it work. In Joni’s case, while very pregnant with a toddler they decided to sell their lovely and comfortable family home and move to a ‘renovators delight’ in Queensland, both quitting their fabulous day jobs.
They knew they wouldn’t be able to get up to Brisbane to inspect properties due to the risks with border closures and Joni was also heavily, heavily pregnant. As a result, they engaged a buyer’s advocate to find them an off-market property. They had identified the area that they wanted to buy in, so had a clear brief for the property that they were seeking. The advocate managed to find them a brilliant property, as a DevelopHer you need to see a great opportunity and be able to move quickly. So, they did this and bought it very quickly, pretty much sight unseen.
“My husband is originally from Brisbane. However, it had never occurred to me to move up there (as I had originally convinced him to move to Melbourne to be with me) until the intense COVID lockdowns that occurred in Melbourne in 2020. The lockdowns made me assess what I wanted in terms of lifestyle for my growing family. I wanted to be close to family and somewhere warm with an outdoorsy lifestyle, so I was the one that actually convinced Alex to move back up. So far we have no regrets. Brisbane is a beautiful city and I feel as if it’s only going to get better!”
Hats off to Joni and Alex for chasing their passion, as none of this journey is easy or straightforward. There are massive leaps of faith and a pile of educated guesses to take them to where they are. There will always be risk and reward, inaction normally being the easier path! We love that this team was able to understand where they would sit loosely if they undertook this journey, make value assessments on what they would sell for and what they could buy, back themselves to find new jobs and understand that this passion was worth the (surely many) uncomfortable moments when they didn’t know exactly how things would pan out!
“The scariest part of the journey was buying a house in another city that we had only viewed on Facetime very briefly. I had a quick strategy meeting with Rebeka when the opportunity came up and she chatted through my feasibility and helped me make the decision. I really valued her input and opinion.”
What's next for Joni and her family?
Joni and Alex bought a post-war property in Teneriffe that is able to be completely knocked down. They will build a new luxury home on the block and have just signed a contract with local architect Myers Ellyett. Partnering with amazing designers is part of the BuildHer way and they and are super excited to be working with them for the project. In Joni’s case, Alex will manage the build and we cannot wait to see what this amazing couple will create.
We asked Joni why she joined BuildHer and she said “I was always interested in property, however I felt like there was a gap in my knowledge of how to actually develop for profit. Like, how do I assess a good opportunity? Or, what are the different types of design services I can utilise? How do I actually ensure we make money? I was trying to Google property development courses late one night and luckily came across the course on Instagram. It had everything I needed to enhance and complete my knowledge.”
What would you say to anyone who was thinking about joining BuildHer and becoming a DevelopHer?
“Do it! I have never looked back and will wax lyrical to anyone that will listen to me about how beneficial the course is. I have learnt so much about the mechanics of developing for profit, but I didn’t expect to get so much out of the actual group of women who are also in the “collective”. Everyone is so supportive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They will freely give you their time to help you. The power is definitely in the amazing collective of women that are BuildHers.”